Every day we call the days of the week with specific names that sound so familiar. But why are they called what they are called? Does Tuesday have something to do with two or Thursday something with thunder? Who named the weekdays? And how did the weekdays get their Names?
If you ask where Saturday got its name from, 99 percent of the people, despite calling it Saturday on a regular basis, would not know the reason behind it. But a few people know Where do weekdays get their names from?
The names of the days have an eventful history. The seven-day week in use today originally came from ancient Babylon, was adopted by the Jews, and passed through them to the Romans. These in turn named the seven days after their planetary gods: Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, and Luna as the goddess of the moon and Apollo, who was equated with the sun as the god of light.
This practice spread in the Roman Empire in the first millennium AD. Further influences from Christian and Jewish tradition finally gave rise to the names that we still use today for the days of the week.
On the first day of the week, you can already guess where the name comes from. And indeed, the name goes back to the Roman goddess of the moon.
However, this was called Luna and the day was originally Dies Lunae (Day of the Moon), from which the French made their Lundi and the Spanish their Lunes. Ancient Greek, however, preferred the word ‘MOON’ and thus invented the mon (d) day t. For the English and US Americans, the day after the English word ‘moon’ is called Monday.
Tuesday – (Who Named The Weekdays)
Here, too, the naming is based on the Roman calendar. This day was originally dedicated to Mars, the Roman god of war. Recognizable by the French Mardi and the Spanish Martes. The model is the Latin Dies Martis (day of Mars).
For the Romans, Wednesday was dedicated to the god Mercury, the god of trade and travel, that is, Dies Mercurii. This is clearly visible in the French name for Wednesday: Mercredi and also in Spanish Miercoles. In ancient times, Mercury was equated with the Germanic Wodan or Odin. So the Germanic peoples made the Wodans day out of the Mercury day. This is still preserved in the English and Dutch, where it is called Wednesday.
Thursday – How Days Of Week Were Named
In fact, Thursday has something to do with thunderstorms, but only indirectly. Because here, too, the familiar pattern applies as Wednesday is named after a Roman god. With the Romans, it was Jupiter himself, the god’s father and supreme deity, after the day was initially named: Dies Iovis. In French, he has partly survived as Jeudi, in Spanish as Jueves. In the English-speaking world, Thor was immortalized in the term Thursday.
Friday – (Who Named The Weekdays)
Many people would like the weekend to start a day earlier and that Friday would actually be free. But the name is derived from the Germanic goddess Freya, who was responsible for love and marriage. For English, it is Friday accordingly.
The impetus for this was given by the Roman name Dies Veneris, the day of the goddess of love Venus. This had a similar function to the Germanic Freya and thus served as a model. In France, the day is called Vendredi, in Spain Viernes.
If you follow the previous rule, Saturday should actually be named after the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn. But it turned out differently. Here the Jewish Sabbath prevailed as the namesake. Presumably, because the Jewish seven-day week is dominated by this day. The Sabbath became Saturday, which is easier to recognize in Italian, where the day is Sabato, and in Spanish, it’s Sabado.
Only in English, it is completely different. Here the Roman name was adapted and Saturday is still called that today. And why Saturday? This is a reference to the following Sunday and originally only meant the evening before Sunday. Over time, the whole day was called that.
Its origin also lies in the Roman naming, where it was originally the ‘Day Of The Sun’, called ‘this Solis’. Since the tribes could identify with the sun, it stayed with Sunday.
In the Romance-speaking countries like France, Italy, and Spain, however, the day is called Dimanche, Domenica, and Domingo. This is derived from the late antique Latin name Dies Domenica, which means ‘day of the Lord’.